Bodyguard producer to adapt Val McDermid

ITVITV has ordered a cold case murder drama, Karen Pirie (w/t), based on Val McDermid’s The Distant Echo. 

World Productions is making the project with Emer Kenny (Harlots, Save Me Too) adapting the original material as a three-parter. 

The Distant Echo is the first in a series of novels about Pirie, a young Scottish detective in the university town of St Andrews. Filming will take place in Scotland

Karen Pirie will be exec produced by Simon Heath of World Productions. Heath said: “Emer is a new and exciting voice who brings a witty, contemporary take to Val’s brilliant and much-loved Karen Pirie novels. We’re delighted that ITV have given us the chance to bring them to the screen.”

Writer Kenny added: “From the moment I read that Karen Pirie orders a Bacardi Breezer as her after-work drink (other brands of alco-pop are available) I knew that she was the detective for me. 

“Val is the queen of crime for good reason and I’m honoured to be bringing her creation to a TV audience, especially for ITV which has been home to some of my favourite detective shows, from Broadchurch to Prime Suspect. Of course, I’m delighted to be working with World Productions again, who really know their way around a crime drama.”

McDermid’s novels have sold more than 16m copies worldwide with TV adaptations including Wire in the Blood with Robson Green.